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November 9, 2018. The day it all changed. On this day we went all in and closed on our Forever Home - an old building in the heart of our community in downtown Cleveland. This building has a rich history and beautiful bones but had been unoccupied for over 20 years and it showed. However, when the opportunity arose for us to purchase it, we felt the Lord calling us to take this next step of faith.
After walking in and seeing the state it was in, we started to question our sanity. We knew it was going to be a lot of work, but we could see the potential in how this space could transform and therefore better serve our women and organization.
We had many Free 2 Fly volunteers and community partners pitch in to help us clean out the building, including a large group from City Church Chattanooga, Meadowview Baptist, Lee University and other friends and family. As you can see in the picture below, we filled a dumpster in no time!
It was a slow-moving process, six weeks to be exact, but eventually the building was in good enough shape to sell some of the pieces and items that had not been damaged over the years.
In February we hosted a large two-day estate sale to not only free up a ton of space in the building, but also to raise funds to continue our renovations. The sale was a huge success and we loved seeing people walk away with fun hidden treasures!
February 21 was a great day, demo day! We tore down plaster to expose a beautiful original brick wall that will be showcased in our new storefront and pulled out all the carpet.
On April 26 we kicked off the capital campaign to continue to raise the funds we need to finish the renovations.. We had a beautiful puzzle made with a picture of our new building. Each $100 donation is a piece of the puzzle and a part of our story.
We have been able to paint the outside of the building and brighten it to a beautiful white which seemed to breathe life into the space. We then began restoring the floors and ceiling inside. It was important to us to restore as much as the building’s original beauty as possible and we are so thrilled with how it’s turned out.
Most recently, the makings of walls have appeared in the space. Beautifully outlining our new storefront, work space, and offices! Electrical and plumbing and sheet rock are all being worked on currently and we are loving seeing the space take shape.
Hear from our President Hailey Johnston below.
We are so thankful for all of the support and encouragement we have received thus far as we work towards the day we can officially move into our forever home.